Review of The Dark Knight Rises

Last week I went to see the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, and promised you all a review.  In a nutshell – I enjoyed it… for what it was…but it wasn’t anything special.  As good as the previous two in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy? Absolutely not.

The strength of the first film (Batman Begins) was the plot. How Batman became Batman…it’s an obvious winner story-wise. Anyone who enjoys physical action movies we never tire of scenes showing the grueling training regime that turns the average fighter into unbeatable hero. Watching Christian Bale training with the League of Shadows brings us back to the classic montages we loved growing up: Karate Kid, Rocky…and, featuring my personal favourite of classic training sequences (however cheesy the film), Kickboxer (Van Damme’s full-splits will stay with me forever – watch sequence here).

The second film, The Dark Knight, was all about Heath Ledger. His brilliant portrayal of the Joker made the film great, full stop.

This third…well, it lacked that one key ingredient to set it apart from the others. The highlight (and particularly for the male contingent in the audience) was a sassy Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and they should have made even more of her and the Batman & Catwoman pairing. Otherwise, there was actually little Batman-action or interesting gadgetry and nothing particularly original about the plot which mainly concerned itself with setting things up for the sequel. And without spoling it for those who haven’t seen it, I feel they could have done more with Wayne’s inescapable prison scenario. I’m also not sure why they bothered spending the cash to cast star-actor Tom Hardy as lead-villain, Bane, seeing as, with the mask covering most of his face and affecting his voice, you had no clue it was actually him. And there was nothing particularly Oscar-worthy about the delivery of his script or his body language. (Unaware that Hardy had beefed up for his role in another film, Bronson, I actually thought they’d got a body-double with Hardy doing the voiceover. Frankly, they could have cut the budget and chosen any bouncer from an East End club to stand there looking menacing and had any Darth Vader wannabee read the script. )

I will quickly mention that whilst critics in the papers have been harping on about not being able to understand Bane’s dialogue through the mask,  I wonder if there might have been a fault with the sound at their press screening, as I really didn’t have a problem with it (and I often complain that I’m slightly hard of hearing). In fact, I found Batman’s husky whisper more difficult to understand at times. It’s not like Bane had Shakespearean monologues to deliver, and even if you missed a word, the gist was pretty obvious.

So to recap, for those expecting something truly great for this  grand finale, well don’t, you’ll be disappointed. But it is still an entertaining action movie, complete with interesting twists, and of course, if nothing else, Anne Hathaway in black lycra.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicty & Online Marketing Manager

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